The Herald

By the time she'd hit the age of sixteen, the girl had realized a lot of things... and at the same time, living in a world where she was the only one who aged, was exempt from some of the preconceptions about age and growing up.

For one, she'd realized that love was a luxury she'd never be able to afford. Sure there weren't all that many couples in the village but there were enough for her to feel envious. That envy however slowly turned to a heart shattering epiphany. Loving someone was nothing but heart ache. Especially for her. She'd age... he'd stay the same and she didn't quite know how long she'd age or what would happen to her once she did. She did indeed have a few theories having seen the older women in the village but uncertainty mired that aspect of her future life. Along with that particular brand of heartbreak, things with her mother hadn't improved. She didn't think it was possible but they'd gotten worse.

She was now the center piece of an entire village that loathed her for her status and fame and yet continued to give her the very status and fame that they hated and envied. People had grown accustomed yet tired of the preferential treatment they gave her... this dissent, of course was completely lost upon her mother. Clodia would have loved nothing more than to be 'normal'... or however close to it she could get and would have campaigned to rid herself of her celebrity status if she'd only be allowed to. Her mother had taken to ensuring that she, Clodia, grew up to be the perfect little girl. The girl of course, resented this... there was only so much dressing up that she could handle. The make up that had been thrown into the mix recently had done nothing to improve matters nor was her mother's eagerness to see just how much she'd 'grow'. The latter being very uncomfortable especially when her mother thought it was a legitimate over-dinner discussion... in front of guests. Her mother liked showing her off... she just hadn't quite figured out what the word 'limits' meant.

But that was just things on the home front. Since her last sighting... that's what she liked to call them... she'd seen things of the same sort at least once every few months; and it wasn't always the same thing that she saw either and never at the same place. There were times when she saw the same silvery monster that moved on wheels and at other's she saw a two wheeled version of the same zipping through the trees, moving at speeds that far out did any animal she knew. She'd even seen one that was flying in the sky but didn't seem to flap its wings... and yet it flew higher and faster than any creature she'd ever seen. While all these sightings were absurd and worrisome in their randomness and fear inducing in their unknown-ness, the most worrisome aspect of it all was that she seemed to be the only one who noticed these. In fact she's begun to entertain the idea that she was the only one who actually saw them...

'Great,' she thought as she considered this, 'Just what I need. One more thing to make me 'special'.'

Sarcasm and bitterness aside, she was beginning to grew very worried about these occurances and sightings. She had tried at one point to explain them to her mother who had reacted exactly as she had expected to but had hoping she wouldn't.

'You will tell no one of this Clodia. Do you understand? No one!'

There had never been any point in asking why. Her mother never did reasons... It just wasn't her thing.

With life weighing down on her like it was and with no possible way for her to run away like she had when she was younger, she found herself sitting against a tree nearby her house. With her back to the wooden dwelling she'd progressively grow to hate and loathe, she kept her eyes closed and let her mind wander, trying her best to keep the thoughts away from her latest crush a boy who appeared to be close to her age. She knew that it was hopeless but 'hope' just wouldn't let her be. Her thoughts, as usual enjoyed chasing themselves in circles leaving her feeling just a little bit sick and dizzy.

In fact, it was in this state, half caught between the world that she resided in and the one her mind conjured up for her that she almost didn't see him. In hindsight she would wish she never had. Its what heralded the start of it all.

Opening her eyes, squinting against the glare of the sun, she found that she was staring at something absentmindedly. It was a while before she actually realized what she was seeing... and as if someone had been paying attention, as soon as she saw it... him... she heard it. The music.

The music was... different. For that matter, so was he. He dressed differently. Looked different and there were certain things about him that made her wonder if she was even looking at another man. But lets start with the music -It was slow. Almost sounded like a guitar but somehow... different. She'd heard a few people play in the village during celebrations or those few times she'd visited the tavern but this was more encompassing. As if the music were playing from all around her at once. It was soothing though... she liked it...

The man on the other hand was young. He was wearing an odd shirt that was definitely a few sizes too big for him and odd pants with more than two side pockets. His shirt was black with a grey-silver logo on the front while his pants looked faded and a deep navy. He had his eyes closed, bobbing his head to the music though she couldn't see how he heard it what with those white tendrils that flowed out of his ears and into one of his pockets.At that moment a crazy idea struck her - the music was coming from his ears! Or those white tendrils.

She stared at the person, her mouth agape unable to figure out what to do or say. It was n her uncertain inaction that the man seemed to realize that she was looking at him, though she got the sense that he already knew... knew from the beginning. He looked up at her.

At her.

She froze, eyes wide with fear as the man held the gaze for a while before smiling. He got up and began to walk away. It wasn't until he was almost out of sight that her mind jerked back into existence. She got up and ran after him even as people in the village behind her began to call her to come back.

Hearing nothing but the receding music she followed, compelled by some desire that she couldn't explain and couldn't help to follow. She ran hard after him and despite him seeming to walk he just got further and further away. She could hear the crunching of footsteps after her, her name being called repeatedly in a number of different tones that ranged from the angry to the worried and quite a few that sounded exasperated. She didn't care though... she needed to find the man. He... didn't he want to say something to her? Or was that just her imagination trying to fill in the gaps that...

She continued to run, not realizing that she'd closed her eyes and was leaving a trail of tears in her wake. She continued to run until the music was gone and a set of hands grabbed the back of her shirt.


The voices broke into her dream-like state. Her eyes shot open and she found herself on the edge of a 3 foot ledge that fell into the Lake... the hands had held her back.

Mouth agape she stared out into the water, still as ever and felt her heart quiver and for a brief moment, before she was pulled back, was certain that the Lake did as well.


[[Sorry it took so long but I've finally got a few days off and well, here we go! Hope it doesn't disappoint.]]

The End

11 comments about this story Feed